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'Package Killer' Cold Cases Remain Unsolved Nearly 3 Decades Later

Pictured are Riverfront Times contributor, Ryan Krull, retired St. Louis Police Sgt. Joe Burgoon, and Barb Studt, the stepsister of Sandy Little.

In the early 1990s, a man abducted and murdered at least three women from south St. Louis. This man is known as the package killer, and the three murders remain cold cases nearly 30 years later.

Ryan Krull, Riverfront Times contributor and University of Missouri-St. Louis assistant teaching professor, investigated the details of these cold cases over the past year. His reporting found that there are a lot of factors that make it harder to solve a murder when the victim is a sex worker, which was the case for two of the three package killer murders.

“If you’re a victim of a serial killer, it’s more than likely or it’s very likely that you are a sex worker, just because [you’re in] such a vulnerable occupation,” Krull said.

On Monday's St. Louis on the Air, guest host Jonathan Ahl talked with Krull, as well as Barb Studt, the stepsister of one of the victims, Sandy Little. Studt hopes that renewed interest in her stepsister’s story helps spur new details toward the investigation.

“I really hope that […] people take a look at the fact that they were more than just prostitutes,” she said. “They were young girls that had families and had children, and had people that cared about them. They deserve to find justice.”

Krull and Studt spoke about this story on Monday’s program alongside cold-case detective and retired St. Louis police Sgt. Joe Burgoon.

Hear the entire conversation on St. Louis’ package killer:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.